Connecticut Probate Courts

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The Connecticut Probate Court system is a system of 54 individual probate courts located throughout the state of Connecticut. The jurisdiction of each court extends to the legal affairs of the deceased, estates, some aspects of family law, conservatorship, and several other matters requiring specific legal decisions.[1] As statutory courts, all jurisdiction and authority is governed by the state legislature.[2]

Elections of judges[edit]

Judges of probate are the only members of the state judicial branch elected in Connecticut.[3] Judges are elected in partisan elections and hold office for a term of four years, their elections held within the same cycle as gubernatorial elections.

Previously, laws permitted anyone to run as a candidate for judge of probate regardless of previous judicial or legal experience. However, a state law which went into effect on January 5, 2011 now requires candidates for judge of probate to be both a lawyer and a member of the Connecticut bar.[3]

Consolidation of court districts[edit]

After operating without much change since 1850, growing financial difficulties in the state and within the probate courts created the need for the system to be overhauled. In the summer of 2009, the Probate Court Redistricting Commission assembled to review the aging court system and make recommendations for decreasing the number of judicial districts from 117. In September 2009, the commission announced its consolidation plan to reduce the number of districts to 54[4] for the 2010 elections.

Probate districts[edit]

The currently elected judges of probate,[5][6] elected from January 2011 through January 2015:

DistrictMunicipalities servedJudge of probateJudge's residenceLocation of court
1HartfordRobert K. Killian, Jr. (D)HartfordHartford
2West HartfordSydney W. Elkin (D)West HartfordWest Hartford
3Bloomfield, East Granby, Suffield, Windsor LocksSteven M. Zelman (D)BloomfieldWindsor Locks
4East Windsor, South Windsor, WindsorMarianne Lassman Fisher (D)South WindsorSouth Windsor
5East HartfordAllan T. Driscoll (D)East HartfordEast Hartford
6Glastonbury, HebronPeter Jay Alter (D)South Glastonbury (Glastonbury)Glastonbury
7Newington, Rocky Hill, WethersfieldRobert Randich (D)NewingtonNewington
8Berlin, New BritainWalter A. Clebowicz (D)New BritainNew Britain
9Avon, Canton, Granby, SimsburyCynthia C. Becker (R)AvonSimsbury
10Burlington, FarmingtonEvelyn M. Daly (D)FarmingtonFarmington
11Enfield, Somers, StaffordTimothy R. Keeney (R)Somersville (Somers)Enfield
12Ellington, VernonJames Purnell, III (R)VernonVernon
13Andover, Bolton, Columbia, ManchesterMichael M. Darby (D)ManchesterManchester
14East Haddam, East Hampton, Marlborough, PortlandJennifer L. Berkenstock (R)East HamptonMarlborough
15Cromwell, Durham, Middlefield, MiddletownJoseph D. Marino (D)MiddletownMiddletown
16MeridenBrian T. Mahon (D)MeridenMeriden
17WallingfordPhilip A. Wright, Jr. (D)WallingfordWallingford
18Cheshire, SouthingtonMatthew J. Jalowiec (R)CheshireCheshire
19Bristol, Plainville, PlymouthAndre D. Dorval (D)BristolBristol
20Waterbury, WolcottThomas P. Brunnock (D)WaterburyWaterbury
21Beacon Falls, Naugatuck, Middlebury, ProspectPeter E. Mariano (R)NaugatuckNaugatuck
22Bethlehem, Oxford, Roxbury, Southbury, Washington, Watertown, WoodburyDomenick Calabrese (R)WatertownSouthbury
23Barkhamsted, Colebrook, Goshen, Hartland, New Hartford, Torrington, WinchesterMichael F. Magistrali (R)TorringtonTorrington
24Canaan, Cornwall, Harwinton, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, Norfolk, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, Thomaston, WarrenDiane Blick (D)LitchfieldLitchfield
25Coventry, Mansfield, Tolland, WillingtonClaire C. Twerdy (D)CoventryTolland
26Ashford, Brooklyn, Eastford, Pomfret, Putnam, Thompson, Union, WoodstockLeah P. Schad (D)Pomfret Center (Pomfret)North Grosvenordale (Thompson)
27Canterbury, Killingly, Plainfield, SterlingDavid A. Griffiths (D)Danielson (Killingly)Plainfield
28Colchester, Chaplin, Hampton, Lebanon, Scotland, WindhamJohn J. McGrath (D)WindhamWillimantic (Windham)
29Bozrah, Franklin, Griswold, Lisbon, Norwich, Preston, Sprague, VoluntownCharles K. Norris (R)NorwichNorwich
30Groton, Ledyard, North Stonington, StoningtonNicholas Kepple (D)StoningtonGroton
31New London, WaterfordMathew H. Greene (D)New LondonNew London
32East Lyme, Montville, Old Lyme, SalemJeffrey A. McNamara (R)East LymeNiantic (East Lyme)
33Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Saybrook, WestbrookTerrance Lomme (D)EssexOld Saybrook
34Guilford, MadisonJoel E. Helander (R)GuilfordMadison
35Branford, North BranfordFrank J. Forgione (R)Northford (North Branford)Branford
36East Haven, North HavenMichael R. Brandt (R)North HavenEast Haven
37Bethany, HamdenSalvatore L. Diglio (D)HamdenHamden
38New HavenJohn A. Keyes (D)New HavenNew Haven
39West HavenMark J. DeGennaro (D)West HavenWest Haven
40Milford, OrangeBeverly Streit-Kefalas (D)MilfordMilford
41Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, WoodbridgeClifford D. Hoyle (D)AnsoniaAnsonia
42SheltonFred J. Anthony (R)SheltonShelton
43DanburyDianne E. Yamin (R)DanburyDanbury
44Bridgewater, Brookfield, New Fairfield, New Milford, ShermanMartin F. Landgrebe (R)New MilfordNew Milford
45Bethel, Newtown, Ridgefield, ReddingJoseph A. Egan, Jr. (R)RidgefieldBethel
46Easton, Monroe, TrumbullJohn P. Chiota (R)TrumbullTrumbull
47StratfordF. Paul Kurmay (R)StratfordStratford
48BridgeportPaul J. Ganim (D)BridgeportBridgeport
49FairfieldDaniel F. Caruso (R)FairfiledFairfield
50Weston, WestportKevin M. O'Grady (D)WestonWestport
51Norwalk, WiltonAnthony J. DePanfilis (R)WestportNorwalk
52Darien, New CanaanMichael P. Murray (R)DarienDarien
53StamfordGerald M. Fox, Jr. (D)StamfordStamford
54GreenwichDavid W. Hopper (R)GreenwichGreenwich

Judge Kepple was elected in an August 16, 2011, special election to fill the unexpired term of Fred Palm, who died in March 2011.

Judge Lassman Fisher was elected in an August 21, 2012, special election to fill the unexpired term of Brian Griffin, who died in February 2012.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Probate Court Jurisdiction". Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Probate Court History". Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Joseph A. O'Brien (September 27, 2009). "Probate Courts: 'Historic' Makeover". Hartford Courant. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  4. ^ "CT 54 Probate Court Plan" (PDF). Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Interim Directory of Judges & Districts" (PDF). State of Connecticut, Judicial Branch. Retrieved February 16, 2011. 
  6. ^ "List of Candidates". Secretary of the State of Connecticut. Retrieved February 16, 2011. 

External links[edit]